DETECTIVES hunting for a sexual predator who targeted three women in 40 minutes on Boxing Day believe the man carried out similar attacks last summer.
Police received three separate reports on Boxing Day from women who said an unknown man had touched them inappropriately while they were walking in Swinton.
The offences took place between 8.50pm and 9.30pm in Queen Street, Station Street and the churchyard at St Margaret’s Church against women aged between 26 and 52.
Officers now believe the three incidents are linked to similar reports of sexual assault in the Swinton area which were reported to police last June and July and have released footage of a man they want to trace.
The footage shows the suspect walking through Queen Street on Boxing Day.
Det Insp Mark Oughton said: “Our officers have been painstakingly following up lines of enquiry in relation to the incidents reported to us on Boxing Day.
“As a result, due to the similar nature of the offences, we now believe that a number of sexual assaults reported to police last summer may also be connected to this current series.
“In each of the incidents, adult women appear to have been targeted by an unknown man who has touched them inappropriately before running off.
“This is an unsettling series of crimes for the Swinton community and I appreciate that many of you may be alarmed, but I want to stress that we are working incredibly hard to identify the person responsible for these incidents and would ask for your continued support as we progress our investigation.
“We are releasing some footage of an individual we believe may hold vital information and are appealing for this individual to come forward and contact police.
“If anyone recognises this person they are also asked to get in touch.
“I understand that the quality of the footage we have available is not perfect but we have officers reviewing any available footage to try and help us gather as much information as we can about these crimes.
“If you have CCTV cameras and believe you may have captured something that could help with our investigation, please get in touch with police.”
Call 101 quoting incident number 857 of December 26 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.